Monday December 20th saw the New Jersey State Legislature finally pass the Bill that would give tax relief to Atlantic City’s casinos, potentially saving four from closure.
The vote in the Assembly session went long into the night as Republican members commented extensively on each Bill to extend the session in protest against rules that they show proof of vaccination, or a negative Covid-19 test to enter the Statehouse. The Assembly vote eventually went 46 to 19 in favour, with the Senate vote coming in at 21-14 for approval. The Bill now passes to Governor Phil Murphy to be signed off.
Outgoing President of the State Senate, Steve Sweeney, has said that four casinos would close without this Bill, but no casino has confirmed this claim and the Bill’s opponents still believe that Governor Murphy could hold back on signing.
The PILOT Bill, as it is known, is intended to help the casinos recover from the impact of the pandemic by reducing increases in payments that would take effect if the Bill were not passed. The Casino Association of New Jersey says that the Bill would bring stability and help protect 20,000 jobs, among other benefits. If the Bill passes, the casinos still collectively expect to pay $10-15m more next year than this, without it, these payments could rise by a further 50%.